You may not remember my resolution for 2014 but I do and here I am with the permit to hike the West Coast Trail this August. Like, the real thing. I have the plane tickets, I have the permit from Parks Canada, I have the positive disposition. I’m doing this for real.
The point is that Plumper died last summer and now only Kaikash is left in the world of the A36 matriline. Cracroft is long gone, but I saw the three of them back in 2004 in Telegraph Cove, they were so close, the sea was dark and rough. Maybe I won’t be able to meet Kaikash again, but still I want to be on Vancouver Island next summer.
I was so angry when I read that Plumper had died. I’m so angry, about extinction.
The other thing is that last month I read a post in a blog where a woman was describing her WCT as life-changing and how she relied on coaching for her mental training. It was sort of an eye-opener for me because I detest coaching (especially in the working environment) and my life was changed multiple times already by traveling that it’s become a habit, I go there, I come back changed, forever changed, forever changed, Hong Kong and I was changed Burma, Thailand and I was changed A few good friends to see me through Henry and Brigid to see me through Only art to see me through Only heart to see me through My old life’s disappearing, disappearing from view.
Read my tagline up above.
So if this woman, who had never experienced change through backpacking before, could complete the WCT, then I can do it too. Especially since I have the advantage of not believing in coaching.
I’ll admit I experienced some doubt, namely when I tried to decide the trailhead while feverish. Never ever try to plan a 3+ backcountry hike while you’ve got a fever. Even if you’ve slept in a tent multiple nights in sub-zero conditions already, when you’re feverish your brain will convince you that you’re gonna die out there of hypothermia and be devoured by the cougars. The following weekend I tried again, while healthy and after an alcoholic night, and the decision about the trailhead was made effortlessly.
Well, preparations for the WTC are exciting. They tell you you have to train and plan, what they don’t tell you is how exciting it’s going to be. You’re forced to focus on body awareness and it pays back. You’re forced to think in terms of how to protect yourself. They also don’t tell you it will disconnect you from everyday social interaction entirely because everyone else is on a hypo-caloric diet and tapping on a mobile device while you’re trying to figure out how to eat an additional 1000kcalories a day during your hike and you’re dreaming of the day you’re going to seal your mobile into a drybag and head for the mud.
They also don’t tell you you will be down a size for no particular reason except for the excitement.